Explainer: What will happen if Dublin and Kerry's All-Ireland final replay ends in another draw?
THIS year’s race for Sam Maguire will keep going to replays if Dublin and Kerry cannot be separated.
There is no rule book provision for a penalty shootout to decide the All-Ireland SFC title even in the unlikely event of a protracted stalemate such as the four-game Meath/Dublin saga of 1991.
This means that, in theory at least, Dublin/Kerry could extend to a second replay and beyond if these arch-rivals remain level after normal and extra-time when replay battle resumes in Croke Park on Saturday week (6pm).
‘Winner on the day’ regulations do not apply to All-Ireland senior finals, hence the theoretical possibility of a marathon extension to the inter-county season, with negative ramifications for the club championships in the capital and the Kingdom.
With this year’s introduction of a penalty shootout rule to decide certain deadlocked matches, including provincial replays and SFC qualifiers, there has been some confusion over how regulations might impact on Dublin/Kerry Mark 2.
In response to a query from Independent.ie, Croke Park has outlined what would happen in the event of a prolonged All-Ireland stalemate.
- If Saturday week’s replay is still level after normal-time (70 minutes) and then extra-time (two ten-minute periods), a second replay will be required.
- It’s almost certain that this would take place a fortnight later, on September 28, to allow sufficient time for ticket distribution and also, presumably, out of fairness to the players. Saturday evening replays are the preferred option.
- If parity again prevails in that second replay – after 70 minutes and a further 20 of extra-time – the battle for Sam will extend to a fourth day.
For provincial replays that are still level after extra-time, there is provision for a second bout of extra-time (comprising two periods of five minutes) but this does not apply to All-Ireland finals.
In truth, the odds are still stacked against Dublin and Kerry being pushed to a third day.
Despite their 14-man brush with disaster last Sunday, Jim Gavin’s men remain 4/11 favourites to complete the historic Drive for Five in normal time the next day.
The prospect of another 70-minute draw, requiring extra-time, is still seen as an 11/1 long shot, according to BoyleSports.